The Gifted has established itself as having an opening flashback from years ago before the main story. This time, they show us some background for Agent Turner and his wife. We already knew about their loss, but this drives it home in a vivid and ugly manner. I don’t like Turner, I find his racism and hatred as irksome as I do from anyone else who acts from a place of fear or hatred. But it does give us a better feel for why he’s like he is in the modern time frame.
In the now, Turner is trying to trace the mutants (and Struckers) who just escaped him in one of his own agencies’ cars. Knowing they’re going to be traced, the fugitives hurriedly swap vehicles. John’s heightened senses pick up an incoming drone from Sentinel. After John shares the bad news about Pulse, they all split up, with Marcos/Eclipse and Lorna/Polaris drawing off the drone. Those two make a great team and creatively polish off the drone. A vexed Turner orders in more troops. Really, how many men does he have under his command? I mean, the FBI is a national, global even, organization, but all their agents aren’t in the same place.
Back at the Underground Headquarters (again, the place needs a name), the Struckers have a great family reunion. The news isn’t all good, though. The place is full of refugees, fleeing the crackdown Turner has ordered on all mutants and sympathizers. Sage, another minor character from various X-Men comics, is trying to monitor what the police and feds are up to. Tex, the invisible bartender also known as Fade, loudly and angrily announces to everyone what Reed did in terms of almost betraying them all. The crowd is not overly sympathetic for Reed’s dilemma.
Turner checks in with his wife, and they even seem to have a little ritual they say, which is some nice character building. There’s a lot of strife among the mutants, which John and then Lauren try to talk down. Reed’s family is shocked when he admits the accusations are true. Then they get called off to help treat Harry’s gunshot wound from the raid to free Lorna and Reed. The family debates what their next step should be, while Tex starts his own scheme. Clarice, for her part, is starting to figure out what Dreamer did.
There’s an argument between Reed, Tex, and John which gets interrupted when Sage brings news about a shift in the radio traffic she’s been listening in on. Reed uses his experience to help figure out what they’re up to. He knows they’re after Polaris and Eclipse.
Speaking of, those two have a talk as they dodge the dragnet. This whole mess probably isn’t how either of them would have chosen to find out about Polaris’ pregnancy. They talk about names and how they feel about this development. Their neat little aurora effect kicks in, and Eclipse says, “We’re gonna have a weird kid,” although he seems pleased by the idea. They have a run in with a Sentinel roadblock, and not only manage to escape, but capture Agent Turner. Polaris doesn’t exactly treat Turner well, but she has a better motivation than just revenge, although that may be part of it, too.
Tensions stay high back at HQ. Caitlin and her kids are desperately trying to keep Harry alive, and they take a few desperate gambles. Reed volunteers for a risky plan to help out the mutants, and even then, Tex is suspicious of him. While all this goes on, Turner tells Polaris and Eclipse about the loss of his daughter, and everyone feels uncomfortable.
With everything going on, two teams are sent out. Reed and Tex are going to play hide and seek with law enforcement, drawing them away from their headquarters. Blink and Dreamer are going to find Polaris and Eclipse, and use Dreamer’s ability to find out what Turner and Sentinel did to Pulse. As this goes on, Harry’s condition gets worse, challenging Caitlin and her very limited supplies.
Turner tries to reason with Polaris and Eclipse about kidnapping a Federal agent being a bad idea. They counter with him telling them about Pulse and they’ll let him go. Neither side is getting anywhere. He asks if they’re going to torture him, and Polaris sneers that that’s him, not her. In a very well-timed entrance, Dreamer and Blink arrive, but with the bad news Sentinel has them surrounded.
Reed and Tex start their plan. In a nice touch, he still has blood down the leg of his pants from Polaris’ efforts to free them earlier. The Struckers come up with a unique way to save Harry’s life. It’s a very original way to perform surgery. I do think they lost track of Andy’s contribution during all this.
Reed does his part, but Tex doesn’t show up for the pick up, leaving Reed in a bad spot. As Dreamer goes to work on Turner, Polaris uses her powers to hold off the Sentinel forces, notably not actually hurting any of them. She probably doesn’t do much good for their transportation budget, though. Dreamer rifles through Turner’s memories and comes across the term “Hound.” For anyone who knows their X-Men history, especially the “Days of Future Past” story (comics, not the movie) and/or Rachel Summers’ background, Hound is NOT a good thing. Finally, the team has to retreat, but Dreamer doesn’t get to finish her process with Turner
Back at the Headquarters, everyone shares what they’ve learned. Later, the Struckers debate what their next step is going to be. Most of them seem fine with staying. Andy hasn’t been a big fan of this plan, and they notably don’t show his face at this decision. Clarice confronts Dreamer about what she’s figured out, and that doesn’t go so well.
The final scene is kind of horrifying. Turner finally makes it home, and his wife is very relieved. Until he starts talking, anyway. I’ll just say Dreamer’s power had a nasty side effect that is probably going to redouble Turner’s anti-mutant feelings and actions.
What I liked: This show continues to impress me. The strong feelings on both sides have some legitimate reasons behind them, and a lot of it seems like it stems from one tragic event that no one has a good handle on yet. Polaris and Eclipse make both a good team and a good couple. The Hound reference is chilling. Turner is a bit more sympathetic now. That final scene with him was horrible, but well written and acted. Polaris, as much as she has against Sentinel, not killing or even hurting any of them, speaks volumes about her.
What I didn’t: Really, not much. I don’t like the Dreamer/Clarice conflict, but I certainly understand it. So far, only mutants have been hurt in the clashes with Sentinel, and I’m worried about what’s going to happen when that changes.
I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. I really wasn’t sure about this show when I saw the commercials, but it’s really growing on me.